In our previous discussion, we delved into the fundamental gear that’s a must for your saltwater aquarium. Now, let’s explore additional equipment that’s frequently encountered and often deemed crucial by many hobbyists. Much like last time, we’ll provide a concise rundown and offer insights to help you decide whether these items should find a place in your setup.
This Week's Video:
Category one: Filtration
Category two: Situational Gear
This category delves into common equipment options, but the necessity of each piece truly hinges on your specific circumstances. If you’re uncertain about whether a particular item is essential for you, we’ll provide clarity in this section.
Stand and Leveling Mats
A stand serves as the foundation for your aquarium, offering stability and space for essential equipment. Smaller aquariums might find a suitable home on desks or dressers. Custom-made or DIY stands can be appealing for personalized aesthetics, but thorough research is crucial to prevent stand failure. While a precut mat often accompanies rimless aquariums, a separate leveling mat can be employed to safeguard against pressure points.
Auto Top Off (ATO)
We’ve discussed this previously, but an ATO automatically replenishes freshwater lost through evaporation, maintaining stability and preventing salinity increases. Although not obligatory, I recommend incorporating an ATO at some point due to the convenience and redundancy it provides. Even if you’re not away often, it ensures stability during your absence.
Calcium and Alkalinity Test Kits
Corals consume calcium and alkalinity during growth, necessitating vigilant monitoring. Especially with prolific SPS corals, active parameter observation is crucial. Having test kits available enables you to stay attuned to your aquarium’s conditions, enhancing your understanding of its dynamics.
If water parameter depletion persists despite water changes, dosing may become essential. While manual dosing is possible, dosing pumps offer automation and consistency. Stable parameters are vital for coral health, making dosing pumps valuable tools. When considering a dosing pump, ensure compatibility with your setup through careful research and calculations.
Fans and Chiller
In hot climates or for cold water setups, temperature control becomes paramount. Fans are ideal for tropical reef setups, offering periodic cooling as needed. Chillers, on the other hand, are primarily for cold water systems and come at a higher cost. Investing in a temperature controller that activates fans when temperatures rise can further enhance stability.
Remember, your equipment choices should align with your goals and the unique conditions of your saltwater aquarium.